Every American stands on the shoulders of courageous, hard-working ancestors who came here from another country, bringing their cultures with them. Each of us is justifiably proud of our culture and heritage, and we deserve to see them respected, if not honored.
Honestly, Islamic and national holidays have become more important for me when I became a mother. In our multicultural community in the U.S., my children enjoy many other holidays. I thought, "Why shouldn't I make something special for them for our own holidays?"
The essence of Ramadan is to become humble, simple and free from ill-will, anger, meanness and hate. Let's fill our hearts with goodwill and honor Ramadan by saying "Eid Mubarak" or Happy Eid to everyone who celebrates on a different day in the same town.
Today is Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. As with Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, this fasting creates space for reflection, humility and compassion. Current events in many Muslim countries give cause for all three.
I'm not trying to impose or advocate a vegetarian lifestyle for everyone. But as we celebrate our different holidays, we might pause, if just for a moment, to remember and appreciate where our meal came from.
There's no denying that we all enjoy the universals of celebrations -- the good food, the family members getting together and sharing embarrassing stories -- but a holiday with different customs can be unpleasant without some effort to be a part of it.